Prof. Rachel Cooper

Cooper
Co-Director
Design Management, Design Policy, Design Thinking, Urban Design, Urban Sustainability, Socially Responsible Design, Design Against Crime, Design & Manufacture
r [dot] cooper [at] lancaster [dot] ac [dot] uk

Rachel Cooper OBE is Distinguished Professor of Design Management and Policy at Lancaster University. She is a Director of ImaginationLancaster, an open and exploratory design-led research centre conducting applied and theoretical research into people, products, places and their interactions, and also Chair of Lancaster institute for the Contemporary Arts. Professor Cooper’s research interests cover: design thinking; design management; design policy; and across all sectors of industry, a specific interest in design for wellbeing and socially responsible design. She has published extensively on these topics, including books 'Designing Sustainable Cities' and 'The Handbook of Wellbeing and the Environment'. She is also series editor of the Routledge series Design for Social Responsibility covering topics such as designing for sustainability, inclusivity, service design, sport, health, transport and policy. She was founding editor of The Design Journal and also founding President of the European Academy of Design. 

 She is currently working on Liveable Cities, a £5m funded six-year research programme working to identify design and engineering solutions that will lead to low-carbon, resource-secure, future cities in which societal wellbeing is prioritised. Also ‘The Creative Exchange’, a £3m three year programme  looking at the growth of the creative industries through exploring the ‘digital public space' and a new types of PhD’s programme.  She has also just begun work on the recently announced 'Internet of Things' (IoT) Hub Lancaster University lead in a UCL led consortium that has received £9.8 million support from EPSRC as part of a £40 million investment programme from UK Government. She is Academic Lead for the N8 universities (the eight most research intensive Universities in the North of England: Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York.) on Urban Living Research.

 Professor Cooper has undertaken several advisory roles to national and international universities, government and non-governmental organisations. She was a member of Infrastructure and Environment Strategic Advisory Team of the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) until 2005. She has also chaired EPSRC commissioning panels on Crime and the cross council review of UK National Collaboration on Ageing Research programme and she was mentor on EPSRC Sandpits on Mobile Health and Countering Terrorism in 2006/7. She is currently a member of EPSRC Strategic Advisory Network. Professor Cooper was UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) panel convenor for visual arts and media practice, history, theory Postgraduate awards between 2000 & 2005, and sat on the Council of the AHRC (2000/10). She was also a member of the advisory panel on the AHRC/ESRC's Cultures of Consumption programme and chairs the advisory panel for the AHRC/EPSRC's 'Designing for the 21st Century' initiative. She was a member of the UK Research Assessment Exercise Panel for Art and Design in 2008 and 2014 chaired the research review panel for art, design architecture and media for Aalto University, (2009) and is currently chair of Aalto  School of Arts  Strategic Advisory Board and was a member of the Research Assessment exercise for Gothenburg University 2010. In 2011 she was invited to be a member of the European Design Innovation Initiative Leadership Board that produced recommendations on Design for Prosperity and Growth for the EU. She was amember of the Blackett Review of the Internet of Things 2014.

 She is a also Non executive Director of the Future Cities Catapult, a visiting Professor at the Royal College of Art (RCA)and a member of RCA Council. Professor Cooper was a Lead Expert for the UK Government Foresight programme on the Future of Cities, is on the Academy of Medical Sciences Working group addressing ‘The Health of the Public 2040’ and is a member of the Partnership for Prevention Sciences Steering Group. She is the Royal Society representative member of the Scientific Committee for Health and Wellbeing in the Changing Urban Environment – an International Council for Science Programme co-sponsored with the United Nations University (UNU) and the InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP).

 

 

 

Updates and Outcomes

Inspirational Masterclass with Worldwide CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, KEVIN ROBERTS

Inspirational Masterclass with Worldwide CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, KEVIN ROBERTS

Kevin Roberts will inspire and inform an audience of creative and digital small and medium businesses.

We are pleased to announce that we are organising an Inspiration Masterclass with the Worldwide CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, Kevin Roberts on Monday the 10th of February at Saatchi &...Read full update

Design Council announce €3.8 million EU fund to build the European Design Innovation Platform

Design Council announced that it will be leading a consortium to deliver the European Design Innovation Platform (EDIP) with Lancaster University as key partner.

Design Council announce €3.8 million EU fund to build the European Design Innovation Platform. The press release is now...Read full update

Making in the City [3D Printing] - Crossing Boundaries

Making in the City [3D Printing] - Crossing Boundaries

Co-creation through intense collaborative activity...Hexagons and Lego leading innovative 'thinking'...

As part of the 'Making in the City' Design Jam, participants were tasked to develop and critically examine emergent themes in greater detail, and then to offer new and innovative solutions...Read full update

Making in the City [3D Printing] Design Jam

Making in the City [3D Printing] Design Jam

Making in the City [3D Printing], offered a successful and acclaimed introduction to the series of Cities Design Jams, by the Imagination team at Lancaster.

Making in the City [3D Printing], was the first of three highly interactive design ‘Jams’ specially created for the London Fusion...Read full update

Imagination is key to rethinking creative and successful collaboration in the North

Imagination is key to rethinking creative and successful collaboration in the North

Forty-five arts and humanities practitioners, academics and funding partners gathered at a N8 event in Lancaster to participate in a workshop that explored how the imagination is being used to influence social and cultural development in the North.

The event, ‘Imaginative North’ was the fourth...Read full update

Imaginative North, Lancaster University – 21 November 2013

Event3 years, 4 months and 6 days ago
Imaginative North, Lancaster University – 21 November 2013

21st of November 2013, LICA Building, Lancaster University

N8 'New Thinking from the North' network holds its fourth workshop in Lancaster

Creativity and innovation occur at the boundaries of our imagination. But how do we channel this to develop our ideas and research? This...Read full update

Imagination is key to rethinking creative and successful collaboration in the North

Imagination is key to rethinking creative and successful collaboration in the North

Forty-five arts and humanities practitioners, academics and funding partners gathered at a N8 event in Lancaster to participate in a workshop that explored how the imagination is being used to influence social and cultural development in the North.

The event, ‘Imaginative North’ was the fourth...Read full update

Imaginative North, Lancaster University – 21 November 2013

Event3 years, 4 months and 6 days ago
Imaginative North, Lancaster University – 21 November 2013

21st of November 2013, LICA Building, Lancaster University

N8 'New Thinking from the North' network holds its fourth workshop in Lancaster

Creativity and innovation occur at the boundaries of our imagination. But how do we channel this to develop our ideas and research? This...Read full update

Sustainable North, University of Manchester – 30 October 2013

Event3 years, 4 months and 28 days ago
Sustainable North, University of Manchester – 30 October 2013

30th of October 2013, The Biospheric Foundation, Irwell House, Philip St, Salford M3 7LE

N8 'New Thinking from the North' network holds its third workshop in Manchester

The future of the North lies in its capacity to imagine, develop and enact economic, social,...Read full update

Making in the City (3D Printing) Design Jam

Making in the City (3D Printing) Design Jam

Bringing London-based digital and creative small and medium businesses together to create innovate concepts for cities.

ImaginationLancaster is organising three ‘Cities Design Jams’ in central London that will focus on diverse themes within cities. The first design jam will take place on the...Read full update

Welcome to our new postgraduate students

Welcome to our new postgraduate students

Induction Day for the new cohort of MA Design Management students.

Imagination welcomed the new MA Design Management cohort today, introducing them to the University and in particular the design management postgraduate course. As part of the Induction session, the students took part in the...Read full update

Digital North, University of Sheffield - 19 September 2013

Event3 years, 6 months and 8 days ago
Digital North, University of Sheffield - 19 September 2013

19th of September 2013, Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield

N8 'New Thinking from the North' network holds its second workshop in Sheffield

The Sheffield workshop focussed on the digital and the aim of this workshop was to explore the rich and varied...Read full update

Fully funded PhD in Data Prototyping & Urban Futures: apply now!

Articleby Nick Dunn, Rachel Cooper
Fully funded PhD in Data Prototyping & Urban Futures: apply now!

Applications are invited for a full time, fully funded PhD studentship as part of our ongoing research into Urban Futures. ImaginationLancaster has an extensive portfolio and strong track record of major research into cities, working directly with policy makers and city stakeholders via UK Government Office for Science and the Future Cities Catapult. ...Read full article

Do sustainability measures constrain urban design creativity?

Articleby Christopher Boyko, Rachel Cooper
Do sustainability measures constrain urban design creativity?

Paper available at ICE Virtual Library. ...Read full article

Future Infrastructure UK: Engineering Roadmap Final Report

Articleby Rachel Cooper, Roger Whitham, Leon Cruickshank

This report describes the results of a workshop undertaken as part of a programme of advice commissioned by Infrastructure UK to consider the interdependencies and future engineering challenges as part of an ‘engineering roadmap’ for the next National Infrastructure Plan (due to be published in autumn 2011). This plan will include specific actions needed to achieve an integrated, reliable, secure and resilient national infrastructure. ...Read full article

Creative Exchange Launch Event

Articleby Rachel Cooper
Creative Exchange Launch Event

On 19th May we  launched the Creative Exchange. It was an afternoon and an evening of speakers and discussion at the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, in conjunction with  FutureEverything Festival.  We had a fascinating and diverse array of speakers. ...Read full article

You can find a list of Rachel Cooper's publications on the Lancaster University research pages.

Key Projects

Urban FuturesUrban Futures Urban Futures Sustainable Regeneration - from evidence-based urban futures to implementation
Design2020Design2020 Design2020 The UK design industry in 2020
HighWireHighWire HighWire Creating Innovative People for Radical Change
Design for WellbeingDesign for Wellbeing Design for Wellbeing How Design Can Contribute to More Liveable Cities
Creative IDEASCreative IDEAS Creative IDEAS Innovative Mechanisms for Knowledge Sharing
Design In PracticeDesign In Practice Design In Practice Flexibility and change for healthcare service providers